Yakima Catholic Diocese Cleared in Sex-Abuse Case - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Catholic Diocese Cleared in Sex-Abuse Case

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YAKIMA, WA. -- A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Yakima Catholic Church in a high profile sexual abuse case.

In a 34 page ruling, a federal judge determined that the Catholic Dioceses of Yakima did not know that transitional Deacon Aaron Ramirez was a threat to the community.

The judge stated in his ruling that Ramirez provided alcohol to a 17-year-old identified in the case as John Doe, and then sexually abused him at the Resurrection Church in Zillah in 1999. Ramirez fled to Mexico soon after the incident.

Thursday, the judge ruled in favor of the Catholic Church in the 8 million dollar lawsuit. Saying the church could not have known Ramirez would sexually abuse a minor. A representative of the dioceses says they are pleased with the courts findings.

"We are very sorry for the abuse that Mr. Doe suffered in this incident that happened 15 years ago," Mons. Robert Siler said. "And we will continue to pray for him. At the same time we are also pleased the judge recognized the strong legal position that we presented."

It's now up to John Doe as to whether he would like to appeal the ruling or not. We reached out to John Doe's lawyers but have yet to hear back. 


YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A federal judge has ruled the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima was not responsible for the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old boy by a Zillah church deacon in 1999.
Judge Edward Shea on Thursday rejected arguments that the diocese failed to screen and supervise the deacon when it accepted him as a candidate for priesthood.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reports lawyers for the victim are deciding whether to appeal. The lawsuit sought $8 million.
The deacon fled to Mexico after the incident and did not return to the United States.